80 Years of Asphalt Maintenance Equipment Innovation 1942-2022
Stepp was started in 1942 by Sylvan G Stepp. Sylvan, or as everyone called him, Stepp, was approached by the local banker in Marshall Minnesota to start a machine shop/ welding shop to help repair and support the newly mechanize farm machinery. Stepp Machine shop was created by Stepp (Sylvan) and his wife Rose (Rosella).
Up on the Roof
While fixing and building machinery in Marshall, Stepp was contracted by his neighbor that was a hot tar roofer to solve some problems that they had and manufacture some roof top equipment. This was the start of Stepp product line. Stepp went on to building a full line of roofing equipment and tools for the roofing industry.
Standing the Test of Time
One of the products that Sylvan manufactured was the SGS (Sylvan G Stepp) flue fired kettle that was designed to heat and melt bituminous roofing asphalt. This kettle is still in our product offering today and has been used by roofers and highway depts for almost a century. Sylvan would build a truck load of equipment and travel the Dakotas and Minnesota until his truck was empty and then back to the shop to start a new load.
On the Move
While the roofing products continued to grow, Sylvan and Rose decided that they needed to be closer to their biggest market of the Twin cities. They moved the business to Sunrise MN in 1957 to the current location.
Bigger and Better
Once the move was complete Sylvan and Rose hired the first employee and started to grow the business. In the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s Stepp built 2 additions to the building and started to transition to more highway repair equipment and less on roofing products. During this era of Stepp, machines to fill potholes, seal cracks, and distribute tack oil were invented, perfected, and produced.
It's All in the Family
This growth also brought on 2 new partners, sons Shannon Stepp and Shane Stepp. Both sons worked to grow the business until it was incorporated in 1971 when it became Stepp Manufacturing Company Inc. The three ran the business until Sylvan retired and later passed away. Both brothers ran the business until 2000 when Shannon retired and Shane took sole ownership. Shane grew the business and continued the legacy family business and continued to refine and build and design some of the industries finest equipment. Many of Shane and Shannon’s designs have become industry standards.
Focusing on Innovation
In the late 1990’s Shane’s sons Jason and Scott joined the business, and the third son, Bradley joined the business in the 2000’s. In 2010 the business made the decision to focus on the product line and to stop contract manufacturing for the defense industry. Shane and his three sons ran the business until 2021 when the sons took full ownership. Shane has continued with the company to help drive innovation and addressing the needs of our company and our customers. We are thankful for his wisdom and direction and the work ethic that he has instilled in us, and his father instilled in him.
80 Years: 1942-2022
2022 will bring our company to its 80th year in business under the same family ownership with 3 generations of Stepp’s at the helm. We are truly honored to be a part of a company that has served our community, employees, dealers, and customers for 8 decades.